OK I bought a lens - did I do OK?

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by magic823, Aug 7, 2005.

  1. magic823

    magic823 Member

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    I'm in the process of building an 8 x 10 camera (with a bunch of others in Seattle). Well, needing a lens, I put a bid on a Turner-Reich Triple Convertable. Not knowing too much about it, I didn't put too big of a bid and really didn't expect to get it. Well, I did. Got it for $125.95

    Now, what the heck did I buy? They didn't list the focal length, but the lens does state on the front cell "8x10". Did I get a deal? Should I send it to someone to be CLA'd and if so who?

    Thanks for any information.

    Steve

    Attached is a picture of it.
     

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  2. bobfowler

    bobfowler Subscriber

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    You didn't buy it, you stole it! :smile:

    Your lens is a 12", 19", 25" combo. The shutter looks like an Ilex Acme - too bad it doesn't have flash sync.

    For a CLA, try Carol Flutot. She does great work and you can't beat he prices. She's a subscriber here.
     
  3. BradS

    BradS Subscriber

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    WOW! Nice buy. You did OK. Enjoy.
     
  4. JHannon

    JHannon Member

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    Hi Steve. I agree, you did very well. I have the 5X7 version of this lens but have not tried it out yet.

    I read somewhere that the lenses marked Rochester NY were made after WWII. Yours is probably an eariler model. I believe that both elements together is 12" focal length. Each cell is marked 19" and 25". They are installed in the rear to get the different focal lengths. Someone please correct me if I am wrong.

    Good luck with it,
    John
     
  5. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    steve,
    you are pretty stoked :wink:

    no need to be corrected john,
    you are right on the money :smile:

    - -john
     
  6. John Kasaian

    John Kasaian Member

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    Carol Miller does excellent work.

    FWIW, Ansel Adams took one of his first commercially successful landscapes with an 8x10 Turner Reich triple convertable of the Golden Gate (before the bridge was built) Many of the old TRs I've seen have some balsam seperation around the edges from age (don't we all?) but that shouldn't be a problem once you've stopped down.

    Also, use a yellow filter(why, I don't recall, but thats what I've always heard---somebody else here probably knows!)

    Another thing to look for: I wouldn't expect razor sharpness with the 25" element but then for portraits---which is probably where you'd most likely use the long element of your lens---some softness is often preferred (more flattering.) Considering that you're getting 3 focal lengths in one lens, a wee bit of softness in the converted configuration is a small trade off for what you're getting---the option of three focal lengths in one lens!.

    Be aware that some old lenses will shift focus when you stop down so you might want to watch for that. Once again, its not really a problem if you remember to re-check your focus with a loupe after stopping down.

    As far as price goes, as others have already said---you got a great deal!

    Enjoy that classic lens!
     
  7. df cardwell

    df cardwell Subscriber

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    For all intents and purposes, you've got a classic triple convertible lens, very much like a Zeiss Protar ( if anybody cares what the difference is, look in Rudolph Kingslake's "The History of the Photographic Lens" ). Weston used one like yours for years.

    The individual cells were conceived as the equivalent of a full rapid rectilinear. Using them in a group fully corrects the combination. But the individual cells are capable of pretty good work - if you think Adams and Weston could make good pictures -

    For current tastes, adding a medium yellow, 'minus blue', or even an orange filter to an individual cell will snap the image up because it filters out the blue light to which the lens was not fully corrected. But you probably won't find any problems with the lens ! AND please note that when you use a single cell, you MUST mount it in the rear of the shutter, so the diaphragm is in front of the lens.

    There is one caveat. The little shop in Fariport NY made a lot of lenses on government contracts. Sometimes the quality control was spotty. Sometimes, the 5 element cells were not centered perfectly. If you make contact prints or small enlargements, you will never know if you have a 'problem lens'. And if you HAVE a problem lens, love it, and want the problem to go away, there are a couple fellows in the US who are very adept at decementing and recentering lenses.

    One of the favorite lenses for 8x10 portraiture is the 19"; whether an artar or cell from a convertible, it is a 'just right' balance of image size, working distance and camera extension. Use the thing fearlessly and have fun.
     
  8. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Oddly enough, these old lenses are fully corrected for blue light. It was the yellow and red the lens designers didn't bother about, since the film wasn't sensitive to those colours anyway :wink:

    But eliminating a part of the spectrum will bring the remainder into better focus, and it doesn't really matter if you eliminate blue or red. In the very old days of blue-sensitive material and uncorrected lenses it was customary to adjust focus between composing and exposing the plate. This was to correct for the difference between visual focus and "chemical" focus - we would put sharpest focus in the green, while the plate would only react to blue. For this reason it makes sense to use a yellow filter to remove the short-wave blue light, but the lens designers really intended blue to be used and red to be useless!

    Mounting a single cell behind the aperture gives appreciably less coma than putting it in front. But putting it in front gives less bellows draw, so there may sometimes be good reasons to do it "wrong".